Former Harvard Researcher Agrees to Three-Year Supervision for Misconduct
David Panka, M.D., who the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) described as a former instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a former associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, engaged in misconduct in research supported by two NIH grants by “intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly falsifying and/or fabricating Western blot images by selectively cutting, flipping, reordering, and reusing the same source images or non-correlated images to represent different results” in three papers and one conference presentation. Overall, there were 12 figures at issue, ORI said in its Nov. 20 announcement, which had been published from 2005 to 2013.
Panka agreed, for a three-year period that began Nov. 9, that any research he submits for possible funding by the Public Health Service (PHS) will be accompanied by a plan for supervision of his duties that is submitted to ORI for approval. His research would be supervised by a committee of several senior faculty members familiar with the field of study who would review his data and send periodic reports to ORI. Panka also agreed to “exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant” for the three-year period. He will also seek retraction of two papers (one has already been retracted) and the abstract of the conference presentation. This is ORI’s eighth finding this year.